Pie Crust Gadgets

jimsterDecember 13, 2010

Do you recommend any gadgets for making and baking pie crust?

I'm thinking of the zippered bag for rolling out the dough and shields for preventing over browning of the crust edge. Maybe other things you can suggest as well. Are these things really helpful or would a skillful pie maker shun them? Would it make a difference if you were making conventional lard type crust or oil crust?

Jim

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cross_stitch

50/50 butter and shortening, ice water are two hints. Cut in with pastry blender. I have never been able to do successful pastry without a pastry cloth and rolling pin cover. Tried stone surfaces and a friend even gave me her marble slab after she didn't like it. Each of these sticks to pastry in my hands. So a hint would be to get yourself a pastry cloth and RP cover. I bought my last set from Williams-Sonoma. Some grocery stores may still carry them.

Light touch on the rolling pin and gradually taper the pressure as you approach the edges -- don't roll off the edge. Round it up with your hands and try to keep it round at all times. If it cracks, pinch and mend it as it starts by rolling in a few of the crumbs left in the bowl you mixed it in.

I would not recommend rolling the dough in some sort of plastic or nylon bag or other container. If you are short on flour, it will stick and then you'd have a mess on your hands.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2010 at 11:00PM
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soonergrandmom

There are pie crust cutters that cut out dough in the shape of apples or Christmas trees. You roll out the dough, use the cutter, and remove the shapes, leaving the holes in the crust. Then you use the crust as the top crust on your pie.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2010 at 11:09PM
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wizardnm

I'll answer your question from a different perspective.

If I'm the pie baker and you want to buy me a gift, I great pie plate to add to my collection would be great. A couple of years ago a friend who knows I like to make pies, gave me two different sets of dessert plates. Those are nice to have.
Serious pie bakers don't need gadgets. They are usually more trouble than they are worth.

Nancy

Here is a link that might be useful: Emile Henry Pie Plate

    Bookmark   December 13, 2010 at 11:16PM
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lindac

Never used "gadgets"...nor did my mother my grandmother, nor my great grand mother. My son and my daughter don't use anything but a board and a rolling pin.....and all make very good pie crust.I see no need for a zippered bag nor a sleeve for the pin nor a special cloth.
As for the shields to prevent a crust from over browning? never had a problem but for a couple of times when I used a very deep dish to bake an apple pie and it needed about 1 1/2 hours....I put a piece of foil on the edge....not worth storing a gadget.
I don't care for an oil crust...I use butter, lard, Crisco or a combination.
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 13, 2010 at 11:42PM
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jasdip

I too use a cloth over my rolling pin, and a pastry cloth to roll the pastry out on.

Years ago, a lady on tv made a pie crust between 2 sheets of plastic paper. She peeled off the top sheet, flipped the pastry into the dish, and took off the plastic sheet. It worked slick as anything, but I've never tried it.

Instead of buying a shield, just cut the center out of a tin foil plate, and lay the ring over your crust.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 6:54AM
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grainlady_ks

For those marathon pastry rolling occasions, when I have a large number of pies to produce, I'll pull out my Perfect-A-Crust pie crust molds. Unfortunately, they are difficult to find these days - I got mine on-line from King Arthur Flour. With the plastic rings you can quickly roll the perfect thickness and the perfect diameter for 8", 9", and 10" pies.

The link below has all kinds of things to tempt any pie baker.

-Grainlady

Here is a link that might be useful: Fante's Kitchen Wares Shop

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 7:22AM
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jasdip

Grainlady, that sounds very much like the plastic mat that Tupperware sold many years ago. Rings were printed on of all sizes to suit whatever you were baking.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 8:18AM
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Nancy zone 6

I would like to have the plastic rings Grainlady mentioned. I seem to have problems getting the right thickness. Nothing I really need, but I've always liked those pie birds to release steam.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 8:21AM
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cloudy_christine

I just use a rolling pin and two sheets of wax paper to roll out the dough. I do use a pastry blender to cut in the shortening or butter, though, and I guess that qualifies as a gadget. If you don't have one of those, I recommend it.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 8:44AM
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country_sunshine

For rolling out pie dough, I just smoosh a bit of water onto the counter, place a piece of plastic wrap on it, (the water keeps it from wiggling), then place my dough on the wrap, cover with another slice of plastic wrap, and roll away... I always come up with just the perfect crust every time. I just peel away the top sheet of wrap, and then lift up the crust with the bottom sheet and place it in the pie plate/pan.. and repeat for the top layer. I sometimes use cookie cutters on the trimmed off dough to make shapes for the top. Then I brush a bit of 1/2 & 1/2 over all, and then sprinkle a touch of sugar over the entire crust. Momma would be proud... lol

Carolyn

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 12:49PM
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centralcacyclist

I also roll dough between waxed paper or plastic wrap if I have no waxed paper. I have those crust shields but rarely use them. No pastry cloth or rolling pin cover. I have a couple of pastry cutters, both probably picked up at a thrift store.

I like the flavor of half butter/half shortening pastry or all butter but the texture of lard/butter is far better to me.

I have made an oil crust. Not much flavor but the texture is fine. It demands to be rolled between waxed paper for ease and best results.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 1:23PM
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grainlady_ks

The Perfect-A-Crust rings are not drawn on a mat like the old Tupperware mats (I have a wooden board with the pastry sizes on it like the Tupperware mat I used to use). These are hard plastic rings that are about 1-inch wide and the thickness you would want a nice thin pastry.

I know one professional pastry chef who uses them for all their pies because of the consistent results; and a friend who does pastry and baked goods catering and sells a lot of pies, who uses them.

The nice thing is that you won't need to use bench flour to roll the dough out. Too much bench flour can cause your crusts to become tough. Raw flour on baked goods isn't always a desirable addition due to the taste it imparts.

You use wide sheets of plastic wrap with the rings. If you use an extra sheet of plastic wrap, your rings don't even get dirty. You also have a perfectly round crust when you are done -- no more trimming necessary - so one more time-saver. Clean-up is also a cinch when you don't have the mess of bench flour.

-Grainlady

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 2:07PM
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foodonastump

Grainlady - The only bad part is they are no longer available. I search in vain every time this topic comes up.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 2:43PM
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jimster

"The only bad part is they are no longer available."

Have no fear. dcarch will soon be checking in with a method for making those rings in your home workship. :-)

Jim

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 3:24PM
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Virginia7074

I save waxed cereal bag liners to use for rolling out crust. Cut them open, moisten the countertop with water as others have said and roll the crust between them. Just have to peel it off to get it into the pan.

I bought 2 pie crust edge before Thanksgiving, because I always thought they'd be useful. Waste of money. If you put it on the crust before baking, it smooshes down your edge. They only fit one size of my pie pans well. I'll go back to using foil strips when I need to.

I was on King Arthur's site yesterday and came across rubber rings in graduated sizes you can put on your rolling pin so that you always roll the same thickness. But I figured if I wanted to do that, I'd just use elastic hair thingies.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 5:26PM
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dcarch7

LOL Jim! Bad-mouthing me behind my back.

You can get the following in an art suppy or craft store:

1. A beam compass with an Exacto blade attachment or a circle cutter. You can get perfect large circles of any diameter. You can also create very interesting designs with this.

2. Get a selection of square bosa wood sticks of different cross sectional sizes, tape two on your counter when you are rolling the crust. Perfect thickness everytime.

dcarch

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 7:42PM
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dawnp

I just wanted to say that I've been making my own pie crust for years and I bought one of those zippered pouches this year for rolling out the dough. I LOVE IT!! It made it so easy to roll out the perfect size crust. I used flour on it and it did not stick. I will use it always now.

I also use those rings to prevent the crust from burning. very helpful and easier than aluminum foil.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 10:46PM
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mustangs81

Or we can get Lou to carve wooden pie rings!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 3:12PM
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